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  1. I am not so sure. In my area of SW London, 1 bed flats were selling last summer for £240k+. The asking prices were almost always in excess of £250k, often as high as £275k. Now, very similar flats are on the market with an asking price of £220k. So, that is a £30k (12%) fall in asking prices in 6 months! Admittedly, 2 bed flats and houses are not as badly affected, but everything is coming down at the moment.
  2. Yes, Sutton is in London - the Surrey address is just a hangover from the pre-GLC days when Sutton (as well as Kingston, Richmond, Croydon etc) were actually in Surrey itself. Sutton is the same as anywhere else - there are good and bad parts of it. On AVERAGE, Sutton is probably a worse area than more expensive surrounding places like Wimbledon, Richmond or Kingston, but I would rather live in a nice part of Sutton than a poor part of any of those areas. It seems to be an argument that we get a lot on these forums - one place is better/nicer than another. In reality, even the best stockbroker belt towns (Esher, Sevenoaks, Weybridge etc) have council estates and poor roads as does Kensington & Chelsea. At the same time, I bet there are some really nice roads in Hull.
  3. It is true that a lot of stupid/mis-judged/ill-informed comments are made on this site, but you have to admit that the quality of the underlying argument is fairly good.
  4. I know exactly where that block is. It is very central, but they obviously think they can get top money just because it is within a couple of minutes of the station. They seem to have ignored the fact it looks ex-LA, has the Waitrose multi-storey car park about 3 metres from the window, and is so close to the goods entrance for the store that all you would hear is lorries coming in and out all day. On top of this, it has no garden, and a home-made second-hand kitchen that is now not separate from the living area. I have been looking in Surbiton for quite a while. It is seems it is very possible to get £250k+ for a 2 bed flat, but it has to be a good one!
  5. I have lived in the Kingston area for quite a few years. I agree that it has improved in that time, altough there have been some downsides as well (the proliferation of poor nightclubs making certain parts of the town centre unpleasant at night, for example). The main change that I have noticed is the movement in the demographic of the area. The only significant new build in the last 5 years has been flats, and there have been plenty of conversions as well. This has had the dual effect of attracting more young people into the area, and driving prices of 'real' houses through the roof. You can pick up a reasonable house for a 'normal' price in the outlying parts, but the sought after areas have risen much faster than flats. In the part of Surbiton where I live, you can pick up a large, 2 bed flat with garden for about £275k, wheras a 3 bed semi with perhaps 25% more floorspace is £500k+! This has created a schism between the prices of houses and flats. If you compare the best parts of Kingston/Surbiton to Guildford, for example, flats are about 10% more expensive, houses about 25%. Traditionally, this would have been the other way around, but the lack of supply has made houses artifically expensive. Over the last few years, I have noticed a lot of people 'cashing-in' on equity they have in flats in more central areas to buy houses in the better parts of Kingston/Surbiton. Now, I think they will start looking further out in the commuter belt to get better value. I think that the main activity in the area will be flat-buying FTB's priced out of areas closer to London. Kingston represents relatively good value in this part of the market.
  6. Don't know anything about the Croydon/Sutton market, but Kingston is a bit up and down. In the better parts of Kingston and Surbiton decent properties are still selling quickly for inflated prices. There is a lot of stuff in the less sought after parts which is sticking, even though the prices seem fairly reasonable. It has been like this for most of 2006. I don't think city bonuses effect this market too much. In Kingston, there is the Coombe estate, and perhaps 10-15 other roads where the average price is £1m+, in Sutton and Croydon there are probably less still. The bonus effect may go out as far as Richmond at a push. Prices are more driven by the general London market. As people are priced out of Wimbledon/Clapham etc they come to Kingston looking for cheaper properties. Those priced out of Kingston may go out to Sutton and Croydon.
  7. Even the suburbs are quite expensive - £800 for a decent 1 bed flat in Kingston, £900 in Richmond. I know a few people who rent 2 bed places on their own in these areas and must pay £1k+ per month. Still much cheaper than London 'proper', though.
  8. I am not actually a recent buyer. Whilst there have been several properties on the market in my area that may have passed for a reasonable investment, none of them were remotely near my price range - I thought my username actually inferred my non-home owning status, but perhaps not. I am too young to remember the last crash first hand, but have learnt a lot about it - primarily from here. What I was trying to get across was that whilst I agree with the sentiments of your original post (and follow-ups), I think it is far too general to assume that everyone who has bought in the last 18 months has been 'foolish', or will lose money. Plenty will, of course, but not all.
  9. I think what has been unearthed is a lot of people that agree with the sentiment of your original message, but think that it is to simplistic/generalised. I have been keeping a close eye on my area, and am still seeing some properties purchased in 2005 being 'flipped' and sold for more in 2006. This is not some grimey northern area catching up with its neighbours, neither is it prime central London - far from being either, in fact. These opportunities are becoming far more rare, and the majority of people who have bought in 2004/5/6 have undoubtedly done the wrong thing, but those who have bought at a good discount to current prices may not all be in that situation.
  10. The long term average is 3.75x average income, so this could be used as an estimate, but you should bear in mind that an 'average' house has always been higher than this level in some areas, and has probably historically been lower than this level in others.
  11. I don't think that it will be one type of property that will be hit more than others, it will be the ones that have bubbled up most in the last 5 years that will be hit hardest, whatever they are. A terraced house that has gone from £30k to £200k in 10 years is bound to be hit very hard. In my area 2 bed terraced houses in the best roads go for 10-20% more than 3 bed semis in less sought after roads. Although the prices of both have gone up in the last 5-10 years, the differential has remained about the same, so I would not expect a much harder fall for either type. It is the same with new-build flats. The well-built ones that have gone up in prime locations won't be hit as hard as the ones that are 2 miles from the station with a view over a motorway/council estate etc, that have sold for broadly the same price because they are 'executive'.
  12. This is a disgrace, partly to do with the fact that benefit payments vastly outstrip the wages from these minimum wage (or less) jobs, and partly to do with the British sense of entitlement to more. I have even seen this manifest itself on this forum before, with comments like 'Of course I could afford a 3 bed semi now, but my £40k income means I should be able to get a 4 bed detached like my parents' etc. A lot of these comments are true, but not necessarily realistic.
  13. True, of course. What I should have said is that those of working age that live in the nicer parts of Woking or unlikely to be local workers, and the announcement of redundances in the town would have little affect on prices. The poorer areas of the town e.g. Sheerwater etc are likely to be affected more.
  14. In fact it is the old Telewest HQ which is closing in Woking. No call centre staff , and probably a median salary of at least £30k. There would have been some high earners there as well, but in general Woking exists as a dormitory town for London. 99% of the better Woking property will be occupied by those working in London.
  15. The average price may have gone down to 3x the average wage, but this didn't happen eveywhere in the country. For example, the cost of a 3 bed semi (average?) in my area got down to about £115k (now about £300k) at the bottom of the last crash. Even assuming an average local salary of £25k, which I doubt at that time, this would require almost 5x salary. This is based on the cheapest part of the area, as well. In the decent part of town a 3 bed semi would have been £150k+ (now £400k+) 3x salary would have bought a 2 bed flat or a small 2 bed house at best in this area at the bottom of the last cycle. Ok, this is in London, but not a particularly expensive part.
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